The cost of wind and solar power is lower than ever, prompting more companies to think about how they can invest in renewable energy to not only reduce their carbon footprint, but also save money. As sustainability becomes a key factor in business operations, it's no wonder that organizations are starting to create roles for sustainability specialists who can focus specifically on how companies can be more energy efficient and utilize cleaner power sources.
Several major corporations have made big moves in the past year to invest in renewable energy, from retailers to manufacturers to tech giants. Here is just a small sampling of companies that are going green.
This year, IKEA pledged to invest $600 million in renewable energy projects, along with an investment of over $400 million to support communities vulnerable to climate change. The furniture retailer currently produces 53 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power. IKEA is also making effort to bring more power to the people, announcing in April that it would start selling residential solar panels in its UK stores.
Known for its organic produce, Whole Foods has decided to go a little bit greener in 2016. In March, Whole Foods announced that it would install 100 rooftop solar systems on nearly a quarter of its stores and distribution centers in the U.S. to reduce the company's carbon footprint.
This tech giant currently powers all of its data centers and most of its stores and corporate offices with renewable energy. Apple also has plans to install an additional 521 megawatts of solar projects globally, as well as other investments in clean energy, with the ultimate goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy. And one more thing — it was also recently announced that Apple may be planning to sell its surplus of power generated by renewable energy directly to consumers.
Toyota recently opened its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. What's more impressive than the fact that it spans 2.1 million square feet is that the location was built to be powered almost entirely by renewable sources. The auto manufacturer worked with a local energy management and consulting firm to design a comprehensive energy supply purchasing strategy that combines on-site renewable electric supply, off-site renewable electric supply, alternative fuel supply, and standard electric supply.